Check it Out

Not everyone has a huge room full of exercise equipment or even a set of dumbbells and many of us can’t afford to pay $30 per class at Soul Cycle or Pilates.  Luckily there are other options.

Here are my top 3 must-haves to amp up your workouts.

Exercise Tubing with Plastic handles.  I like the ones from SPRI (https://www.spri.com/collections/exercise-tubing).   Gone are the need to have a rack of weights in your garage.  These bands are sturdy as heck (I use them for my boot-camp classes) and are color coded based on weight so they provide varying levels of resistance.  You can get a red and blue to start for under $50.  Trust me, these babies are so versatile you can work chest, back, legs, hips, glutes, core, shoulders, and so on and so on.   Love.  Them.  Plus they come with door anchors and instruction sheets to show you how to use them.  PS.  Buy the ones with the hard plastic handles, they are, in  my opinion, easier to grip than the ones covered with spongy foam.

Yoga Mat.  One attempt at a down dog on your carpet, or using a towel or blanket on the floor and you’ll know why I’m a fan.  You need solid gription for your feet and hands so you can focus on your poses and not worry about slipping and falling on your face.    You can get inexpensive ones for about $15 but the longer you practice your Asanas you will want a better mat.  Manduka are the bomb but they’ll set you back $60 to $110.  Just roll that sucker up when you’re done.  Cats LOVE to use them as a scratching pad.   You’re welcome.

Exercise or Yoga Subscription.  Back in the day I subscribed to Tae Bo and would get a new VHS tape in the mail every month.  I spent hundreds of dollars on those tapes and loved them.  Now you can get a great workout and more variety by subscription.  The Daily Burn (www.dailyburn.com) or Yoga With Adriene (www.yogawithadriene.com) offer an amazing variety of classes and options for what  you’d spend on 3 lattes a month.  Srsly.  Bonus!  You can watch them on any mobile device so you literally have zero excuses.

So add some spice to your workout regime and reap the rewards!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

 

 

 

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Sunday Runday is a Fun Day

It’s the perfect time of year for trail running.  The weather is cooler in the morning, the leaves are turning and the light has that orangey-golden glow that you don’t see any other time.

When I’m running races I usually stick to the road for long runs.  The normal advice being if you are running a distance event on the road you should train on the road so that your body becomes used to that surface.

But now that I don’t have a race on the calendar in the near future I can hustle my bustle into the wild.  Or semi-wild.  Because if you’ve ever run with me on the trails (or in my neighborhood at 5:30am) you know I’m not a huge fan of critters and scurrying things.  Squirrels, in case you didn’t know, sound really, really big skimper-scampering through the leaves.  Just sayin’

Anyway.  I’m back to Sunday trail runs until the rain forces me back on the road.  So join me.  Get off the treadmill. Take a break from your normal ‘hood run.  Come home with leaves in your socks and dirt on your ankles.

You don’t have to go far.  You don’t have to go fast.  You just get to go.

This Sunday we’re meeting at the Ross Post Office at 8:00 am.  Join the fun.   Message me for details.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

 

Order Up

As y’all know, I’ve pretty successfully adopted a *mostly* plant-based diet and have eliminated eating animals and things that come from animals (you know; is a mother, had a mother, has a face, etc).   I say mostly because as I’ve shared before, sometimes cake happens.

I check off each day on my calendar and today marks 234, so almost 8 months.  I’ve made it through dinners out, parties, birthdays, bar-b-ques, camping on the lake and a 10 day trip to Hawaii.

Dining out is tricky so we eat in more than we used to.  And since my family won’t eat rice and beans for 4 nights in a row like I will, I cook.  But even a plant-based eater can get in a rut so I have begun to expand my repertoire.

And I like recipes that don’t require hours in the kitchen.   Here are a few new sites that I’m checking out.

  • The Buddhist Chef (https://www.thebuddhistchef.com/) – A classically trained chef who specializes in vegan and cruelty-free recipes & cooking.
  • BOSH! (https://www.bosh.tv/) – 100% plant-based and vegan.  Recipes are visually stunning and available to cooks of any level.
  • Minimalist Baker (https://minimalistbaker.com/recipes/vegan/) – Recipes that have 10 ingredients or less and take 30 minutes or less to prepare.
  • Pamela Salzman, Ktichen Matters & Recipes (https://pamelasalzman.com/) – She’s a certified holistic health counselor and teaches natural foods cooking classes.  **Not vegetarian or plant-based but I’ve modified a few recipes with success..

Try out some recipes and let me know what you think!

Keli 🙂

This Little Piggy…

In September I decided to get back to the mat for yoga.  My practices had gotten fewer and farther between and I missed Yoga with Adriene (www.http://yogawithadriene.com/) and her dog Benji.  I also really missed the practice of yoga itself.

And because I’m weird I can’t do anything just to do it, I need to have a goal.  So I decided to do yoga as often as I could and also decided that I’d work on my Crow pose every day.  Just to see if I could finally get my crow to fly. Ha ha, yoga humor.

Crow is an arm balancing pose.  And it is,  in my humble and non-yogi opinion, hard as hell.  At first you think it’s all about arm strength.  And it is.  But it’s not.  It’s core strength, balancing and upper body strength.  Also, it’s supposed to look really graceful.

This is what it looks like, according to Google images. 

 

And this is what it looks like in my living room last week.  With my Yoga Cat, Cody.

I worked at this every day for almost a month and I got up.  Not very high, but  I mean  those toes are a good, what 4 inches off the ground.  Nice!  Sure, there are problems with the posture and I’m wearing yoga pants.  (Ok, laugh for a second then let’s get on with it.)  But I am damned proud of this.

Do you want to know the hardest thing about this pose?  It’s not crouching down into a froggy position and doing a toe balance.  It’s not even holding myself up on my hands and preventing my face from smashing into the mat.  Or on the cat.  It’s not even the fact that I’m taking a photo wearing yoga pants.

It was lifting the final toe off the ground.  I would get the left foot up, then I’d be on the big toe of the right foot, just kind of hovering there, willing myself to lift that toe off the mat.

I mean you think sure, just lift the stupid toe, Keli.  What’s the problem?  What’s so hard about that?

But wait, let’s “drill down” a bit and think about it.  That stupid little toe can actually be the difference between staying where you are and moving forward.

We sometimes get *this* close to doing something…then we retreat.  We may do something else.  We may do nothing at all.  We may decide it’s too hard.  Or too complicated.  Too challenging. We’re not that smart.  Not that talented.   The list can go on and on.

So next time,  just lift the stupid toe and let your crow fly.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

 

The Daily Dozen

I’m a big fan of Dr. Michael Greger.  He’s a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on a number of important public health issues. His nonprofit, NutritionFacts.org is a science-based, non-commercial website to provide free daily videos and articles on the latest discoveries in nutrition.  If you’re an information nerd like I am you’ll find this stuff fascinating.

In his book “How Not to Die” (http://NutritionFacts.org/book) he shares his “Daily Dozen”, which is Dr. Greger’s list dentifying the healthiest, nutritious foods to eat and how many servings of each we should try to consume every day.  (Technically there are 10 foods but he includes water and exercise and 11 and 12).

He also has a free app, Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen that you can download (for iPhone and Android phones).  I use it as a reminder to include these healthy foods/habits every day and some folks actually check off the boxes available to track their servings.

It’s a simple way to be mindful of what you’re eating and helping you stay on point. And I like simple.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How I Stay Focused

Like you, I cycle through phases where it’s harder to stay on track and motivated.  Giving up isn’t an option so I’ve developed some tried and true strategies that help me reach my goals.

Prioritize

You cannot expect to reach your goals if the steps to reaching them gets scrapped because something comes up.  In my world that means I make a conscious decision to get up at 4:00am so I can get my training done before I have to be a Mom or an employee.  It’s not always easy, I won’t lie.  But I can count on one hand how many times I regretted the workout when I was done.  And I’ve been doing this since my son was 2 1/2 (he’s almost 12).

The only actual workouts I can ever remember truly regretting were the two Bikram Yoga classes I took.  Hot yoga and me are not friends.  However, I digress.

Schedule

I am a huge fan of having a schedule.  It’s what gets me through any training plan, cycle or training season.  Right now I am following a training schedule for the Ragnar race in November.  I put together a training plan, printed it out and it’s currently to the right of my computer monitor.

As you can see, it’s a working document; miles added, subtracted and plotted out.  This mess keeps me on track and focused on my next workout.

I also transfer the miles , my boot-camp class schedule onto my weekly calendar so it is right there with my son’s soccer practices, dentist appointments, work schedule, meetings, etc.

It may seem like overkill or duplication but I consider my training and workouts to be as important as other meetings so it has to go with the other responsibilities I have.

Find “Yes” People

I try and surround myself with people who are supportive of what I do.   You need this.  If you are trying to eat better, starting to run or cutting out unhealthy behaviors you want people that are going to say “Hey, you’ve got this”.

This doesn’t mean you need them to jump on your wagon.  But if you have someone telling you “running will ruin your knees”, or “aren’t you worried about getting too muscular” or if your spouse is cranky about the time you’re taking away to go on a run or take a class, it makes it harder to take the steps to reach your goal.  Find your “yes” people.

Push Through

I rarely skip a scheduled workout. Sure there are days that  I’m tired, cranky, annoyed, or just not ‘feeling’ it.  But unless I’m sick I just power through.  Why?  Because if I skip today then it’s easier to skip tomorrow and the next day.  Once you drop the excuses and get up and go you’ll be very happy you did.  (see Schedule above).

Challenges

When I really need to amp it up or pull myself out a lull I do a 30 day challenge.  Currently I’m 14 days into a Burpee Challenge; doing 10 burpees a day for a month.  I’m also working on the Crow pose in yoga. Every day I hop onto the mat and practice.  Listed out on paper it looks like a lot.  But I look at things as time commitments so the burpees takes me less than a minute and the yoga and Crow is maybe 10 minutes.  It’s just the extra push I need right now.

These strategies work for me and I hope you can find one or two that will help you stay motivated and on point with your training. Let me know!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂